By Matthew Merritt
On April 10, 2017, at North Park Elementary School at around 10:27 a.m. there was an active shooter in the building.The San Bernardino police department say that the gunman was 53-year-old Riverside resident Cedric Anderson. He came to the school and told the office that he needed to drop something off to his wife at this school. this is not uncommon.
Burguan said the shooter, Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside, walked into the classroom armed with a .357 caliber revolver and opened fire “without saying anything,” killing Karen Elaine Smith, 53, also of Riverside. Smith was a teacher at the school.
San Bernardino PD @SanBernardinoPD
Victim in school shooting identified as Karen Smith, age 53, estranged wife of suspect.
4:14 PM – 10 Apr 2017 · San Bernardino, CA
The police chief said Anderson “does have a criminal history.”
Court records showed that he had faced criminal charges of brandishing a weapon, assault and crimes against public peace in 2013, with those charges later “dismissed or not prosecuted.” There had also been two petitions for temporary restraining orders filed against him by women in previous years.
How the shooting unfolded
Police received reports of the shooting at the school shortly before 10:30 a.m., and officers responded within minutes, Madden said.
San Bernardino Police Capt. Ron Maass, the incident commander, said Anderson had gone to the classroom to visit Smith. There is no indication the suspect’s handgun was visible when he entered the school, Maass said.
Anderson signed in at the front office when he entered the school, according to Maass. He said he believed Anderson was known to the front office.
The two students struck by gunfire were standing behind Smith, the police chief said.
Jonathan Martinez, 8, died at Loma Linda University Medical Center after being airlifted from the school, the police chief said. The other student, a 9-year-old boy, was listed in stable condition at the medical center, according to the hospital.
Police do not believe the two children were targeted; they just happened to be near the teacher.
Burguan said that at the time of the shooting there were 15 students from grades one through four in the special needs classroom, along with two adult aides.
The city is still recovering emotionally from the terror attack that happened there 15 months ago.
Anderson had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges that predated the short marriage, authorities said. He frequently wrote social media posts about his wife over the past month. On what appeared to be his Facebook page, Anderson said he “loved being married to Karen Smith-Anderson!” and posted a photo of the two of them on March 4 in what he described as a date night. He posted several photos of his wedding to Smith early this year and their honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona.
North Park is a magnet school for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade who are interested in environmental issues, said Maria Garcia, a school district spokeswoman. Armed security officers are not assigned to any of the district’s elementary schools, Garcia said, but she described security on the North Park campus as “very, very tight.”